Morning Reads For Tuesday, September 18th

  • Supreme Court of Wash says you can sue MERS directly (Reuters)
  • NYSE has a rep for not doing things correctly (Bloomberg)
  • iPhone 5 sells out in less than an hour (CNNMoney)
  • More Korean rapping for you to devour (YouTube)
  • Google drops bomb on China to prevent Android dilution (TheNextWeb)
  • Clear film might be solar energy solution (LATimes)
  • Collection agencies latch on to District Attorney (NYTimes)
  • General Lee’s fateful northward journey (CivilWar)
  • Wisconsin finally considered a battleground state (ChicagoSunTimes)
  • Campaign untruths make the Guardian irate (Guardian)
  • Keeping America stupid is the job of Big Coal (RollingStone)
  • And 47% video might have Mitt asking for whom the bell tolls (HuffPo)

  • Anderson on a roll, as he double ducks Barrow   (SavannahMorningNews)
  • Emory hopes you won’t notice its offerings have narrowed (GPB)
  • Norcross Grandma on birthday is unconcerned with survival (Fox5)
  • Brian Kemp and budget cuts are the Archival’s Archrivals (AJC)
  • Bibb school board vows to lock up students that are bad (MaconTelegraph)
  • While in Atlanta, area couples are 7th glad. (AtlantaBizChron)



  1. xdog says:

    If I pay taxes and support Obama, does that make me a dupe or am I considered a leech too?

    Thanks for the Robert E. Lee link.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      Quick! Find the Etch-A-Sketch!

      At least Romney destroyed Newt Gingrich after S.C. He can always look back on that with pride.

    • Harry says:

      xdog, if you support Obama it makes you a dupe, and even if you pay taxes the question whether or not you are a leach depends on your job description and work performance!

        • Harry says:

          I consider Obama an Evil Demon…he brings out the worst spirits in all of us. I mean class and race warfare, and political gaming and cheating the system to get his supporters something for nothing.

            • Noway says:

              Bowers, Wounded Warriors are not the ones Harry is talking about. They’ve earned their pending benefits. No, he’s talking about the 47% of the mooching parasites that pay no federal income taxes. they giving nothing and demand everything. They have been killing and will succeed in killing this nation.

              • bowersville says:

                There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”

                That’s the problem with making blanket statements that become public. Wounded warriors are part of the 47% who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them.

                • Three Jack says:

                  I cringe whenever someone tries to lump wounded veterans with freeloading leeches. Romney obviously was speaking about people who have done little to nothing in service to this country. If you think veterans who sacrificed their bodies and soul in service to this country compare with the millions who demand free food, healthcare, housing, etc. just because they are here, you are sadly mistaken.

                    • Three Jack says:

                      Sure Stefan, break it down. Show me how a military veteran who served this country voluntarily even though the pay and environment sucks deserves to be lumped in with those who generationally volunteer to accept welfare in many forms for simply being here. Let’s compare virtues.

                    • Stefan says:

                      I’m not the one who lumped them together, but I think you are right, he wants the listener to assume there’s a near majority of government leeches out there but that number does not reflect the reality.

                      I was going to write he has a very casual relationship with the truth, but that’s not really it, he’s just saying whatever he thinks will convince the people in front of him. The line about how Obama starts out with 49% of the vote and that there are 10% of independent swing voters boggles the mind. Why would a presidential candidate say that? Does he believe the dems have a 49-41 advantage going in? Does he think he has to sweep all the independents? If he believes those two things he would think winning was impossible.

                      If he doesn’t believe it, why would he say it? To pump up the threat of the great unwashed to the people in that room? Then he throws in a little identity politics, and then there’s so much cynicism in the room there is barely room for the champagne,

                    • Three Jack says:

                      I can’t disagree with you on Romney saying whatever he thinks the audience wants to hear. Hell he was on MTP last weekend saying he wants to keep all the popular yet expensive parts of RomneyObamaRobertsCare while repealing the bill as a whole.

                      At a $50,000 a plate fundraiser, candidates will take the opportunity to play underdog in order to score more bucks. I think that holds true for both parties. Last month the dems were wallowing in self pity because Romney had out raised them every month before celebrating their success in August. This followed the GOPers crying earlier this year that Obama would have the first “1 billion dollar campaign” warchest. It’s a battle to see which side can find the most sympathy/$$$$$.

                    • Noway says:

                      Stefan, those children and seniors you speak of, I’ve got a novel idea, how bout their parents take care of both of them?! Shazzzzzzzzzzzam!!!! “Ain’t thoughtta that!”

                  • bowersville says:

                    Cringe all you wish three jack.

                    Veterans support Mitt Romney 58/34 according to this recent poll.


                    According to this recent poll those 65 and older support Romney 52/38.


                    Romney has solid support among Republicans 87% to 7%, and also leads strongly among voters over 65 (52% to 38%) and evangelical voters (57% to 32%).

                    Even you had to clear up the wounded warrior part. Every body can’t be lumped together without explanation.

                • Harry says:

                  So are many social security recipients. What’s your point? Many of them will vote for Romney because they see the danger to them personally by Obama setting up bureaucracies and giving unearned benefits to leeches.

              • John Konop says:

                This is an interesting breakdown of this issue. The number is more like 6.9% who pay nothing. And the reason 28% pay no federal income tax is via the Bush tax cuts Romney supports as well as Obama in that income group. What am I missing?

                …..— 53.6 percent of households pay the federal income tax. Presumably Romney is okay with these folks.

                — 28.3 percent of households pay no federal income tax, but they do pay the payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare. That means they don’t need Mitt Romney to convince them to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” They already have jobs.

                Most of the households in this group don’t pay any federal income tax because they qualify for enough deductions that their income tax liability has shrunk to zero. See this Tax Policy Center report for more, which gives an example of “a couple with two children earning less than $26,400. They get an $11,600 standard deduction and four exemptions of $3,700, and that takes their liability to zero.” Indeed, it’s worth noting that many of these deductions and credits were part of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, which Romney wants to extend.

                — 10.3 percent of households pay no federal income tax because they’re retired and elderly. Many retirees aren’t taxed on their Social Security benefits, which they earned by paying into the system over many years. If Mitt Romney secretly thinks that these households are all irresponsible freeloaders, he has a weird way of showing it, as he keeps insisting that he doesn’t want to cut Medicare or Social Security benefits for those over the age of 65.

                — That leaves 6.9 percent of households which are non-elderly and have incomes less than $20,000 per year and aren’t paying the payroll tax. These poorer households pay neither income taxes nor payroll taxes. Perhaps Romney thinks that they should all pay more in federal taxes. It’s hard to say. But this is also a much smaller fraction of Americans……….


                • Three Jack says:

                  What are you missing?

                  1. SS/Medicare is a forced contribution. Thus most of those receiving benefits actually paid something into the program.
                  2. Military personnel contribute far more than just dollars.
                  3. Medicaid/SNAP/welfare and all the rest of the give away programs are funded by those of us who work to pay for mostly those who choose not to work.

                  You can blame any president you want, but the bottom line is we as a country cannot continue if half the population has little to no skin in the game. You call me callous for daring to say we need to gradually end all of the redistribution programs including those funded by forced contributions. But the fact is we cannot sustain them unless you are willing to support major tax increases on everybody that still pays taxes. Even then, it would not be enough because the problem continues to grow annually as more and more people realize that they can get something for nothing.

                  • John Konop says:

                    …….but the bottom line is we as a country cannot continue if half the population has little to no skin in the game….

                    Now you are on my side, but it is rather ridiculous debate since Obama and Romney both agree on keeping the same credits, deductions…….. On the 6.9 % of working poor, no one is proposing a tax increase on them and really how much could you get? . The other 10% are seniors, do you think we should tax SS on low income seniors? As the senior populations grows this will be even a bigger problem. The truth is no one wants to have a real adult debate on this problem.

                    • Three Jack says:

                      On your side, hardly. I don’t think taxing the already over-taxed should be part of any ‘adult’ conversation. I support Ryan’s concept of eliminating most all deductions along with lower rates across the board in exchange for bringing most if not all workers into the taxpaying category. This includes the ‘working poor’.

                • Charlie says:

                  “— 28.3 percent of households pay no federal income tax, but they do pay the payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare. ”

                  “Many retirees aren’t taxed on their Social Security benefits, which they earned by paying into the system over many years. ”

                  Do you see the conflict between your argument and these two statements?

                  We have a problem in that we’re willing to allow FICA taxes to account for paying “fair share”, when those taxes are supposed to represent an insurance policy for which most will withdraw far more than they contribute.

                  These folks don’t contribute to the discretionary budget nor the interest on the debt.

                  So long as they’re complying with applicable laws, I’m not willing or trying to call them leeches. But there is a fundamental problem with a large and growing part of the population who don’t even cover the direct benefits they receive from the government clamoring for “the 1%” to pay more so they can have more.

                  We need a reform of the tax code, one that incorporates consumption as part of the tax revenue base. It would get more involved in the “fair share” game.

                  • benevolus says:

                    “most will withdraw far more than they contribute.”

                    Actually, SS has had surpluses most years. The federal government owes the SS Trust Fund $2.2 Billion.

                    • Charlie says:

                      Social Security AND medicare, over a lifetime.

                      It’s had surpluses because the baby boomers have been net contributors. Now, they’re about to become net receivers. And they will be living much longer than the life expectancy which the system was originally designed for.

                      And, then there’s medicare, which doesn’t even come close to paying for itself.

                  • griftdrift says:

                    “We have a problem in that we’re willing to allow FICA taxes to account for paying “fair share”, when those taxes are supposed to represent an insurance policy for which most will withdraw far more than they contribute.”

                    But those funds are used to pay for total government services. You can’t say they don’t count one way but they do count the other way.

                    It elides the political implication that persists. Purposefully.

                    • mpierce says:

                      But those funds are used to pay for total government services. You can’t say they don’t count one way but they do count the other way.

                      That’s like saying mortgage companies pay for our houses. We all know that money is loaned and needs to be paid back with interest.

                  • SallyForth says:

                    There’s a big elephant in the room in any discussion of Social Security (and I don’t mean a fat Republican!). It is the huge number of people who are getting payments from the S/S Trust Fund that are nowhere near 65 years old and never paid the quarterly premiums for this insurance coverage. People in Washington and the media are playing rope-a-dope with us all, dealing in smoke and mirrors.

                    The Social Security law established in the 1930’s was also called the “Old Age Benefit” law and was only applicable to people 65 and older. It was set up as an insurance program to be administered by the federal government for that purpose only. In the body of the law, it was referred to as an “annuity” for which the premium was to be paid annually up to that age. There was an initial funding for implementation and to cover the existing population over 65 at that time, then the working population paid quarterly premiums that were invested in secure investments, accumulating not only worker’s payments but investment income over the years. Of course many Americans did not live to 65 (just like with any insurance program) and the Fund accumulated that unexpended income also. It was actuarialy sound into perpetuity.

                    Then in the 1950’s forward, Washington started lifetime payments to people over 18 the bureaucrats deemed disabled to work, regardless of age. (In recent weeks we have seen reports on how the Department is not requiring adequate proof of disability, and simply paying on claims.) They added in payments to spouses and minor children of all those people. They figured a way to pay supplemental income (SSI) to children and people of any age with limited income. All of these payments last a lifetime, which in many cases easily run 50-60 years and more. Per Social Security stats for July 2012, these groups of people cumulatively account for 20.1 million on S/S. People 65 and older are 36.3 million. See the arithmetic on that? Roughly 45% of the people being paid from the S/S Trust Fund are not retired workers or elderly. Add to that the 9 million people who are being paid SSI from the fund regardless of age.

                    So when we discuss Social Security, we are talking about a whole lot more than senior citizens. To solve the Social Security problem, put it back to its original age-determined purpose (currently 67-yr olds), putting it in the black for perpetuity. For S/S, Medicare and Medicaid, only US citizens on all three, crucial since none of these laws were ever intended to cover other nationalities unfunded. Sort out all the payment programs that have been crammed into the three, keep only those that are actually necessary, and place them in either the Dept. of Labor or Health & Human Services, where they belong.

                    Oh, and by the way, in addition to S/S premiums we all pay Medicare insurance premiums out of every paycheck for life (even after 65) – that’s the FICA payment on your W-2. Then after 65, everybody pays an additional larger monthly premium amount for Medicare. Class dismissed! 🙂

                    • John Konop says:

                      ………… (In recent weeks we have seen reports on how the Department is not requiring adequate proof of disability, and simply paying on claims.)………..

                      All I know is I have a friend who has PTSD and this is not true in his case. In fact this person is having a very difficult time, and it is clear they are disabled. BTW veterans are having the same problems with government agencies. Beyond that point I 100% with the overall ,point of your comment.


                    • SallyForth says:

                      OOPS! About that arithmetic stuff….
                      I got in too much of a rush. I should have said to add the 9 mil people on SSI regardless of age to the 20.1 mil non-65 and older. This totals roughly 46% of the people being paid from the S/S Trust Fund that are not retired or elderly.

  2. gcp says:

    Wilber Mitt, in his typical inarticulate manner, just said the obvious, that most Obama voters either don’t pay taxes or are directly dependent on government, and thus won’t vote for Romney. And what exactly is the controversy?

    • Noway says:

      AMB, are you saying he’s ‘done’ because he stated an obvious fact that millions of people are taking benefits that are drowning us in debt that has made us borrow 43 cents of every dollar we spend? If you are, it’s a very hollow victory. Politicians concocted this scheme of federal dependence that has brought us to this point. Buying votes. It’s as simple as that. At least Romney is talking about ways to maybe slow down the runaway train. Obama wants to spend more and then more on top of that. If Obama wins, we’re through. I hope those who can will make their getaway plan to leave this country and take their money with them. They’re tired of propping up a huge number of those who’s only reason for having ‘earned’ them is that they continue to suck in oxygen and that’s all. I hope the Shrug their way out of here.

    • Stefan says:

      BTW, the idea that people on disability are uniformly in favor of Obama would come as a surprise to anyone who has been to a Tea Party confab or looked at an electoral map with West Virginia on it.

      • Harry says:

        I’m not saying some of them aren’t genuinely disabled, but there are an awful lot of freeloaders. The standards have been made too lax – for political purposes.

        • Stefan says:

          People have latched on to the 47% percent statement because it continues the theme of Mitt’s selfishness and silver spoon attitude.

          But it’s actually worse than that. The 47% represent a good amount of disabled people (through SSDI and the like) and the poor. Disabled people vote at a much lower rate that the general population, there is a 20% turnout gap and another 10% registration gap (more, really, because many aren’t eligible). Poor people also turn out at a lower rate than the non-poor.

          And another huge portion of that group are seniors who are overwhelmingly for Romney.

          So the 47% that don’t pay taxes are not equivalent to the 47% of electoral support. And Romney knows all of this. But says it anyway, in the context where he says he can be the most direct and honest. Why? Because it furthers the Republican narrative that Obama supporters are automatons driven be dependency, race, or the hope and change narrative that blinded our young people.

          And that’s much worse than just being selfish and arrogant. It’s deceitful, cynical, and dangerous. Because it serves to split the country apart rather than bring the country forward.

          • Harry says:

            So we ignore the fact that 53% of the population have to support the other 47%? That the government is spending $3 for every $1 of taxes collected? You gotta start somewhere to grab this problem and find ways to deal with it.

  3. Engineer says:

    I remember listening to K-Pop and K-Rock before it apparently became the “in” thing. Although I wonder if this will open the door for other acts out of Asia or if Gangnam Style will just be a flash in the pan, so-to-speak. To be honest, I’m inclined to think the latter.

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